WFP Shipping goes green and takes to the skies to reduce their carbon footprint

To achieve savings in freight costs, WFP Shipping has engaged the services of Beluga GMbH of Bremerhaven, Germany to deliver shipments of food assistance using wind powered technology. The shipping line has deployed SkySail technology to offset the demands of the shipboard power units thus reducing fuel consumption. The ‘kite’, which is tethered to the bow of the ship, uses ocean winds to pull the ship through the ocean. (See video below) This technology has been featured on the well known green technology sites WorldChanging (STORY) and TreeHugger (STORY) for its revolutionary approach to energy conservation.

WFP has engaged Beluga GMbH to move two different shipments with vessels using this new green technology. One ship, carrying 5,118MT of bulk wheat, sailed from the Baltic Sea port of  Klaipeda to Trincomalee port in Sri Lanka between June 11 and July 10 of this year. Another shipment, totalling 6,350MT of bulk wheat, is currently en route from the the Black Sea port of Nikolaev to North Korea (DPRK).

Under ideal conditions the use of the SkySails can reduce fuel consumption by 10-30%. In a ship of this size such savings can equate to a fuel savings of between 1.5 and 4.5 MT per day over a 30-day average transit time. This dramatically reduces the amount of carbon and related emissions that are released into the environment thus reducing WFP’s carbon footprint. For an organization that annually moves millions of tons of food assistance by sea (approximately 55,000 containers and 150 chartered ships through 140 ports globally) these savings, if the program were to be expanded, could prove significant. By utilizing the latest in green technology WFP can now feed the world’s hungry in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Special thanks to: Kim Fredriksson, Stephen Cahill and the entire Shipping team!